NOEFC Head Up North

03/07/18: This year's North Oxford EFC summer tour took them up to the most northerly Eton Fives courts in the world, with a trip to the beautiful village of St.Bees in Cumbria.

In a repeat of their 2014 venture, the intrepid band of Fives explorers - Gareth Hoskins, Karen Hird, Nick Shaw, Michele Shaw, Faye Kerr, Stefan Nowinski, Ian Mitchell and Mandie Barnes - headed up the M6 in glorious summer sunshine to take in three different codes of Fives in three days, with games of Rossall Fives on the way up on Saturday, Eton Fives at St.Bees on Sunday and Winchester Fives at Sedbergh on the way back down on Monday. Lee Hodgetts at Rossall, Laurence Gribble at St.Bees and Jon Liddiard at Sedbergh all did us proud, allowing us access to their courts as well as providing a wide range of opposition and expert tuition where necessary.

All involved thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play different versions of the game in some great locations as well as making the most of the other opportunities on offer: a pre-breakfast 6am ascent of Great Gable (kudos to Nick & Stefan there), a more sedate but equally glorious morning stroll around St.Bees Head, tennis and rounders on the beach as well as swimming in the sea (or sitting in the shallows and shivering in some cases), some of the largest ice creams you've ever seen and a visit to Cartmel village shop - the self-styled home of the sticky toffee pudding, which - as anyone daft enough to follow the season's match reports on the North Oxford website will be able to imagine - turned out to be the spiritual home for at least one member of the party.

This is an ideal itinerary for a weekend tour and comes thoroughly recommended for any Fives club who fancy exploring some courts outside of the M25 for a change!

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